My Nana hails from Germany and is a little partial to a visit to Elmar’s in the Swan Valley. So given I knew I wasn’t going to be able to see her on Christmas Day I planned for GG and I to take her for lunch at Elmar’s on the Sunday before.
The weather was on the warmer side, but we quickly walked inside (ok not that quickly with Nana setting the pace :)) and were engulfed in the cooling air conditioning. Divine! We were shown to a table to three right near the front window.
I had perhaps taken a sneaky peek at the menu online before we arrived and had already decided that schnitzel was the way to go, but both GG and Nana carefully considered their options. GG actually seemed a little overwhelmed by all the menu items that took his fancy. He too had thought the schnitzel would have been worth trying, but I assured him I would share so he went for the bratwurst plate. Nana opted for one of the daily specials, the lamb shanks.
We ordered some drinks at the same time we placed our food order and the beverages did not take long to arrive. Given the summery weather I thought partaking in an ale seemed fitting. I went with one of their in house brews – Kick Back Weizen 4.8% – A traditional Bavarian Wheat Bier made using 50% wheat malt with a thirst quenching burst of banana. With hints of vanilla and a subtle finish of aromatic hops coming through on the finish – Large $10.00. I’m not sure I was sold on the look of it when it arrived. It was very cloudy, but taste is the all important factor and on the front, it was great. Actually really refreshing and quite light. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
And then there was food. I knew by reputation that the servings at Elmar’s were known to be decent, so I was slightly more prepared when my plate arrived. Schnitzel, Pork (Schweineschnitzel) – Pork Schnitzel with Your Choice of Fries or Potato Salad (Kartoffelsalat), Garden Salad and a side of Creamy Mushroom Sauce ($32.90). It was quite the generous serving of schnitzel. The large flat sheet of crumbed meat across a hearty mound of potato salad and some nice fresh salad.
I started with a little of the potato salad and have to say, it’s some of the best I’ve had. Must be the sauce they put on it, it’s so creamy and just delicious! The schnitzel too was lovely. It’s a very thin piece of meat so despite the size, it made me feel that finishing it it was slightly more achievable It was mainly just the sauce that I found a little disappointing with my dish. It was ok I suppose, but nothing particularly special about it and it didn’t have a strong mushroom taste at all and just a few token mushroom pieces were thrown in. Perhaps could use a little work just to up the anty on the flavour front there. Overall though, I did enjoy my meal.
Now across the table, GG launched into his lunch with enthusiastic vigor. Elmars Bratwurst Plate – A trio of Elmar’s Bratwurst – Grillbratwurst, Cheese Kransky and Coarse Bratwurst, on a bed of Royal Blue Mashed Potato (Kartoffelpuree) and a side of Mustard ($36.90). I swear it barely touched the sides! He wolfed it down and from all accounts was a big fan of Elmar’s sausage skills.
I think I suspected as soon as I saw Nana’s lunch that there was no way she was finishing it – Lamb Shanks on a bed of Royal Blue Mashed Potato with Green Beans. The two lamb shanks were giant! She put a decent dent in one of them though and GG and I tackled the other. They were very well prepared, with a rich sauce and the meat just fell off the bone. Quite a heavy dish for a summery day, but Nana really liked it. I also thought bacon wrapped beans was a great idea. But let’s face it, bacon is just a winner in any dish :)
We were all feeling a little on the full side after working our way through our giant lunches, so we passed on the opportunity to sample the strudel on this visit. We did wander through the small shop they have set up on site, with a range of cold meats, jams, sauerkraut and different German products. Nana bought herself some plum jam for later and we were set.
Elmar’s is a nice venue. It’s actually a really big space and would work well for large groups. Perfect also for families, with a grassed area out the back perfect for those little rug rats to have a play. I’d enjoyed my meal and thought the service had been prompt and friendly. Given that GG has already picked out what he wants on visit number 2 I suspect we’ll be back again soon.